Every once in a while, I really hit one out of the park. In this situation, I am referring to dinner. About a month ago, I was trying to come up with some South Beach friendly meals to make so I wouldn’t get bored with the same old same old, and thereby sabotage my diet efforts. I was thinking about things I like to eat, and lasagna popped into my mind. It is fairly SB friendly, except for the noodles. So, I decided I would try replacing the noodles with long strips of zucchini. That way, I cut out the carbs, but also add a vegetable serving.
Because I will admit that I eat like a 5 year old, and veggies are usually not on the menu, unless it is a salad or some green beans. And trust me, after a couple of days, I would rather marry a badger than eat another salad!! Variety is the key to any successful diet.
Tonight, we had some friends over for dinner. I decided to make the Zucchini Lasagna, but substitute the ground beef for ground turkey. One of our dinner guests doesn’t eat anything with cute ears, so that rules out the cows and pigs. This was my first attempt to cook with turkey, and it was great! And my guests LOVED it! It is always thrilling to make things that people really want to eat. So, I am happy to share my recipe with you.
- 1 lb ground meat (beef or turkey), browned & drained
- 1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce (I use the roasted tomato)
- Zucchini 3-4 if large, 5-7 if smaller
- Low fat ricotta cheese (8 oz)
- Part-skim Mozzarella cheese (2-3 cups)
- salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste
Brown your meat, drain, and return to pot (I use a large pasta pot to cut down on splatter). Season the meat with the mixture of salt, pepper, and garlic powder (see Paula Deen’s house seasoning mix on FoodNetwork.com). Pour in pasta sauce, stir. Allow the sauce/meat mix to come to a bubble then turn down to low.
Slice the zucchini long ways. (I use a kitchen mandoline to get the slices consistent. Best. Tool. Ever!) Put the zucchini slices into boiling water and allow to blanch for 2-3 minutes. Then remove from the hot water.
- A touch of red sauce in the bottom of a casserole to let the zucchini stick.
- Layer of zucchini slices
- Layer of ricotta cheese
- Layer of meat sauce
- Layer of mozzarella cheese
3rd layer should be zucchini, meat, and mozzarella.
Put the casserole into a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. The last 2 minutes, turn on the broiler and brown the cheese on the top.
That’s it! It is fairly easy and a total crowd pleaser! It’s so easy, even a princess could make it 😉